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ICE: Courthouses Not Off-Limits For Arresting Suspected Illegal Immigrants

By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is defending arrests caught on camera at the Denver Lindsey-Flanagan Courthouse.

Shot from a cellphone, a man is seen struggling with two ICE agents on the ground just inside the door to the courthouse.

(credit: CBS)

"That's not okay, that's not okay," a woman shouted to the agents in the video. "You're breaking his arm; you are going to hurt him," she said at one point.

ICE says the man had received final deportation orders five years ago and had two misdemeanor convictions. But it's the place where it occurred that has immigration attorneys upset.

"If ICE wants to do its work that's fine. What it shouldn't be doing is meddling in our local systems," said Hans Meyer, the attorney who did not shoot, but released the video, at a news conference.

(credit: CBS)

in February Meyer released video from the same courthouse showing one of his attorneys confronting ICE agents by an elevator and in a hallway.

"Are there other agents here?" The female attorney asked an agent on camera,

"I cannot speak with you, I'm sorry," the agent replied.

When the attorney approached two other men nearby she asked if they were with ICE and acknowledged they were.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, the city council, and Denver Public Schools last month wrote a letter to ICE asking them to respect sensitive locations in making arrests mentioned the courthouse.

Another detention was captured by an attorney as he walked his client out of the same courthouse. The lawyer, Matthew Keller, told CBS4, "I heard some noise and there were three undercover ICE officers and they were already placing him in handcuffs."

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(credit: CBS)

ICE says Antonio Garcia had two prior drunk driving convictions and has pleaded guilty to two others this year.

According to a release, ICE honors areas deemed sensitive, but a courthouse is not one of them.

LINK: Read A Statement From ICE

CBS4's Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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